tv Melissa Harris- Perry MSNBC October 13, 2012 7:00am-9:00am PDT
thomas. plus a new voter suppression effort to steal ohio. but first i have a guy for you undecided voters. who are you all anyway? good morning. i'm melissa harris-perry. according to the latest polls, 12% of the voters are still undecided. undecided? it's a bit baffling, but maybe between two very different debates and the constant barrage of snap polls and flash polls and poll polls telling them that the race for the white house is in a dead heat, maybe it's understandable that some undecided voters might be thinking who the heck do i vote for and do i even vote at all? but never fear, my undecided brothers and sisters, i'm about to give you the mhp guide for undivided voters. number one, president obama and mitt romney are not similar
candidates and this is not a low stakes election. yes, you should vote. which brings me to number two. don't take the obama campaign slogan forward likely because it's the only thing standing in the way of a massive roll back of the domestic policy achievements including robust middle class, social security, medicare, health care ee form, women's growing equality and a more racially growing america. don't get me wrong. here's point number three. re-electing president obama by itself won't be sewer to protect all these triumphs. let's be clear with point number four. voting for mitt romney is likely to result in the end of or rolling back many of the accomplishments which leaves me saying to undecided voters a very important point, number
five. >> my job! >> wake up undecided because the candidates' records tell the tail. let's take a look at a few of the issues that should be on your radar. point number seven. taxes, depending on who we're length, their tax policy will affect you for years to come. on thursday, vice president joe biden and congressman paul ryan tried to make the case for the respective ticket's tax plans, take a look. >> our entire premise of these tax reform plans is to grow the economy and create jobs. it's plan estimated to create 7 million jobs. now, we think that government taking 28% of a family and business's income is enough. >> okay. those answers weren't exactly full of detail, so let me see if i can help them out. mitt romney would cut all tax rates by 20% and reduce the top
tax rate from 35% to 28%. he'd eliminate taxes on capital gains, repeal the alternative minimum tax and estate tax and cut the top corporate tax rate from 35% to 25%. on the other hand president obama would keep tax rates the same for those making less than $250,000. he'd also raise the top two tax brackets to 36% and 39.6% and he has supported the buffet rule. he'd restore the estate tax but lower the corporate tax rate to 28% from 35%. so the choice is yours, undecided voter. but i see a clear distinction with one candidate supporting the rich, the other the middle and working class. now, on to a sliver of life that many see as only affecting one portion of the electorate but
it's an issue that often divides us as a nation. number 8, abortion. with romney this gets a bit tricky. you see, in 1994 and 2020 he said he supported roe v. wade although he personally opposed it. in his 2008 presidential run he opposed it except in the case of rape, incest, or to save a mother's life and in 2012 he wants the supreme court to overturn roe v. wade. then on tuesday he said this. there's no legislation regarding in regards to abortion that i'm familiar with that would become part of my agenda. >> i actually think his position on -- when it comes to women's rights to control their own health care decisions, you know, what he has been saying is exactly what he believes. he thinks that it is appropriate
for politicians to inject themselves in those decisions. >> the president, he's been a consistent supporter of reproductive rights, period. point number 9, health care, president obama's biggest domestic achievement was the affordable health care act. it looks to cover an additional 30 million americans. governor romney wants to repeal pa the reform act, part of it, all of it? i can't keep up. one thing we know for sure is governor romney believes each state should make their own health care policy. if you live in good state with a good plan, good for you. if you live in state without much of a health care policy, maybe it's time to move. there are so many issues but i veed to sit here for ten hours so i'm going to end with this. sometimes the wing man you choose, also known as your vice president, could become one of yours. romney prides his on being
healthy and fit. i couldn't help it. but romney is a rising star in the republican party. when paul ryan met up with joe biden on thursday, it brought this to mind. >> release it. on thursday, biden smiled, zingers on even the most steadfast of the undecided voters. >> try to scare people from voting for you. you see, i understand -- >> do you have the specifics? >> that's what we do. >> thank heavens we have these sessions in place. >> oh, god. >> this is a plan that's bipartisan. jack kennedy lowered -- >> oh, now you're jack kennedy. >> that is so funny. but in all seriousness, folks, this is a guide but it's also a call to action because at the end of the day, one or two
debates shouldn't inspire an entire election. voters need to look at the candidates' record and their platform to make a decision. more importantly your vote matters, but if you're undecided and you don't show up to vote or you can't decide between these two candidates, then come november 6, we may just get the government that we deserve. at the table, glen johnson, politics ed tort at politicsboston.com. and thea butler, religious stois proffers at university of pennsylvania and matt welch editor in chief at "reason" magazine. so nice to have all of you here. thea, is it possible we get the government we deserve? is it possible that wi deserve mitt romney, that 12% of us are undecided. >> i hate to say we deserve mitt romney but we might get him. if people don't pay attention and they're watching more of hon honey boo than they are of the debates, we might get that
candidate and that would be decimating for this country. i also think if you're undecided right now, you either have too much going on that you haven't been paying attention or you feel tliek you just -- they look the same to you and i don't know how anybody thinks that because they're very dissimilar people and candidates. >> you know, it's funny you say that. it's hard for me inculcated in this world to imagine that there's this information though season "snl" has made light of this. people are having much more complicated lives, they're not thinking about this every day, but it also feels to me like part of the issue could be that although they're very different candidates that though some folks are to the left of possible or the right of richl that they just can't figure out what's the lesser of two evils in this case. >> well, keep in mind that regardless of how different men seem or candidates seem and how different the parties seem and the stories that they tell
themselves, there's also the way that they govern once they're in power. with was there any substantial? not really. if you think the world is intervening too much in affairs an a. too quick to go to war, who do you choose? there's a series like that. both candidates, both parties enforce the drug war, both candidates and both parties at the end will -- i know this is controversial -- defend entitlements. mitt romney is cutting things every day. >> rhetorically. >> and policy-wise too. >> exactly. >> his vice president is a gesture toward that but he's also kind of defanged him in that process. so for voters holding that, who
don't want the president to be assassinating people, then they can rationally say -- and keep in mind too it seems obvious to a lot of people who pay a lot of attention to politics to say it's obvious to have a decision here but a plurality of defendants affiliate themselves. >> they're least likely to simply show up so this is -- we'll talk a lot about voter suppression later in the show, but one of the acts of suppression isn't in part folks feeling so disengaged with the process that they don't show up. are these folks really undecided about their vote choice or are they simply undecided about whether it's worth being part of the process. >> there's that stat of 4% or 5% of people that made up their mind on the day of the election. and those are people who just kind of flipped a coin and then went into the polling booth.
but you know then there's another dynamic that i think we haven't talked about which is people don't want to tell a pollster who they're going to vote for, so if you call, they'll be polite and say i'm undecided, i don't want to offend you if you're hope they'll say obama or romney. i think beyond that, one of the most paralyzing things and concerning things is when people say there is no difference between the candidates. i remember people saying that in 2000, people saying al gore was not that dinner from george w. bush. al gore would not have taken us to war in iraq. al gore would not have conducted unsanctioned wire-tapping. al gore would not have approved of torture and al gore would not have tried to privatize social security. so i think that we have to really reemphasize there are important differences here and there are things a at stake.
>> exactly this point. an thea, it would be interesting to know, we don't know for certain if al gore would have done some of these foreign policy extension things because we know presidents like power, particularly international power. and he's be a hawk too. >> he'd have been a hawk. is there something massachusetts voters would tell us about how romney would governor? we know hoe president obama governs. is there something massachusetts could tell us how he would likely govern as president that is meaningful for undecided making choices? >> i think in 2002 massachusetts voters fell in like if not in love with mitt romney and that was in watching him lead the olympics out in salt lake city,
and he was brought back people saw in him the ceo alkt that he could still talk about today and employ it at the state government level. and for the first year and a half or so, i think the people were satisfied with what they saw. but then there was this social conversion and the policy shifts that came with it and as he started to run for president and now he's going to lose that state dramatically to president obama next month. so i think that we saw a glimpse of it again when this was a tunnel ceiling collapse toward the end of his tenure as governor where he was a good strong leader, he create ad a stem-to-stern review and laid it out for the city of boston and the state of massachusetts, but that was gone then so quickly. and so people there thought he was a good executive when he was
engaged as an executive, but they fell out of love with him when they saw he was too much of a politician. >> it's interesting that he might be the guy to build you a tunnel, do that sort of technocratic, to get your olympics on. it doesn't require saying i think he's a horrible later, to say i think he would be an insufficient end president on these particular issues. >> up next, vice president joe biden found congressman paul ryan. hilarious. but did he win any undecideds on thursday night? with the spark cash card from capital one, sven's home security gets the most rewards of any small business credit card! how does this thing work? oh, i like it! [ garth ] sven's small business earns 2% cash back on every purchase, every day! woo-hoo!!! so that's ten security gators, right? put them on my spark card! why settle for less? testing hot tar... great businesses deserve the most rewards! [ male announcer ] the spark business card from capital one. choose unlimited rewards with 2% cash back
or double miles on every purchase, every day! what's in your wallet? here's your invoice. [ female announcer ] one drop of ultra dawn has twice the everyday grease cleaning ingredients of one drop of the leading non-concentrated brand... to clean 2x more greasy dishes. dawn does more. so it's not a chore. starts with arthritis pain and a choice. take tylenol or take aleve, the #1 recommended pain reliever by orthopedic doctors.
just two aleve can keep pain away all day. back to the news. [ chuckles ] ♪ [ honk! ] ♪ [ honk! ] ♪ [ honk! ] ♪ [ male announcer ] now you'll know when to stop. [ honk! ] the all-new nissan altima with easy fill tire alert. [ honk! ] it's our most innovative altima ever. nissan. innovation that excites. ♪ innovation that excites. then don't miss sleep train's wbest rest event.st ever? you'll find sleep train's very best mattresses at the guaranteed lowest price. plus, pay no interest for 3 years on beautyrest black, stearns & foster, serta icomfort, even tempur-pedic. and rest even better with sleep train's risk-free 100-day money back guarantee. get your best rest ever from sleep train. superior service, best selection,
we're also waiting for congressman ryan to attend an event in youngstown, ohio. we'll take you there once he takes the stachlkt if it's anything like the v.p. debate, it will be a laugh a minute. that's what we saw joe biden doing during the debate. there was this constant sense of making paul ryan look absurd through the laughter. i've got to ask, if you're an undecided, then you're loving joe biden. but if you're undecide and watching it, does that sort of posture by the vice president change your opinion about the election one way or the other? >> it might change your opinion because you might think there's this mean v.p. being not to nice and laughing at the v.p. candidate on the other side. on the other hand it also might make you think that the v.p. candidate for the republicans is just a little bit too young for all of this. he looked -- he looked at times very nervous and all the water
drinking made me think he's going to raise up the baptist finger and go to the bathroom. it think it makes you more confused because at times when they were stepping on each other, you couldn't hear what he was saying. i think the two moments that might have grabbed you was the abortion moment and the closing. i think those are the two moments. if you hung with it as an undecided, that would help you make some decisions. >> i'm sort of picking on vice president biden laughing but he wasn't the only one doing the posturing. at one point ryan made the foot-in-mouth joke. let's listen to that real quickly. never mind. we're not going to listen to that. but there is a moment he looks at vice president biden and says words don't come out exactly as you want. he tries to do the funny. is it the substance or the style for undecided voters. >> if you watch thad with the
sound down, you know, you saw, you know, this chaotic back and forth between them at different points. i think that for a lot of voters, this was their first real exposure to paul ryan on his feet. people saw him in a debate -- i mean in a convention hall, which is basically a big tv studio delivering something he was reading off a teleprompter. this debate was the first time people saw him on his feet, so i think there was that assessment from undecided voters and even republican voters who are inclined to vote for governor romney. but others, when they see vice president bind constantly interrupt him and try to inject his point of view, that had the potential to turn people off. i think one of the things that polls have showed is people are really sick of partisanship and incivility in washington so if you have that in a debate, is that going to make a person more
likely to vote for re-election or less likely? >> unlike at a previous time, you geefrt the debates going on. people might go out after the first debate and cast their vote, second debate. is this to, in part, rile up the partisans so they're like, okay, we're back in it, e i'm going to cast my vote today in iowa or ohio? >> listen. i was saying before the debate, i was nervous about joe biden. i was saying that i hoped that the democrats would send mariano rivera out and i think joe biden did exactly what he needed to do. for democrats thinking. he went out and literally gave them kind of a light-spirited sentiment to take away from the debate. aside from that, though, if you get past the issue of the civility and the sningerring and those kinds of things, joe biden was far and away more substantive.
he was so comfortable with the areas of expertise that he really never broke a sweat and he was just asking which of these two people would you like to have step in if you had to have an emergency decision made. i don't think there's any question. >> believe it or not, there are actually still women who haven't made up their minds which to me blows my mind. come on, sisters. i think that's easy. when we come back, more on women and the undecided vote. [ female announcer ] over the years, your mouth has sipped, snacked, ...yellowed... lived, loved, ...yellowed... chatted, chewed, ...yellowed. and over all those years, your teeth...have yellowed. fact is, if you're not whitening, you're yellowing. crest 3d white whitestrips remove over ten years of stains by going below the enamel surface. and, they whiten 25 times better than a leading whitening toothpaste. crest whitestrips.
christians, muslim, jews. i refuse to impose that on others unlike my friend here, the congressman. >> there are real differences. if you're a woman voter you heard very different pogtss there. i'm a little shock thad there are still so many women late decides. >> yeah, i am too because i would think if you're for having control of your own body and you're for reproductive rights or you're taking any type of birth control, the choice is very cheer. the bottom line is it's a religious one. the place is which, well, i feel like joe biden where i personally don't think someone should have an abortion, maybe you feel as you though want to take on a pro-life stance. so that might be his space, but i don't really understand as you're asking why -- you can't make a clear choice, even if you're on that line. >> right.
i'm not indicating all women should be pro-choice. although i do get that women are not single-issue voters on the issue of reproductive rights this has not been small. the war on women has been pretty well consistent. we're talking about in 24 states in 2011, 24 states that enact add record 92 restrictions limiting access to abortion. this is not small, this is not gradual. 2 new restrictions in the course of a year. >> i think that surprised me that did not come out in the debate. i thought before hand they would say this is the guy who wanted to redefine rape, debating the guy who sponsored the violence against women act in the senate and that didn't come up. there were other distinctions made but i thought that would have been made more sharply.
>> i hope to appoint justices to the supreme court that will follow the law and the constitution and it would be my preference that they reverse roe v. wade. >> my preference that the people i put on the supreme court would overturn roe v. wade. >> those's a person romnian moment. he'd made it really clear. he wanted to be president. if you're going to follow the law and the constitution and upend roe v. wade, you can't do all three at once. physically impossible. but think going to your question, there's an interesting study by a project new america for mountain states, swing states of undecided voters, and predominantly they said these undecided voters were women. they believe strongtly in reproductive rights but they're also focused on the economy.
the problem with making abortion sort of the single issue and the clear dividing line is i don't think every woman is pro-choice. people are more concerned with the economy than everything else so they're saying, all right, even if i'm personally pro-choice, is this the right -- how much is that going to be threatened right now and then how does that compare to my feeling about economic policy. >> i'll give you that, but i'm just trying to think of a -- what is a more important economic policy for women than control of reproductive rights and also women who have longer lifespans, the issue of medicare. i mean, again, even if you're thinking economics, economics aet the junction of gender also includes reproductive rights. >> i'd like to see how it breaks out age group wise. you andry in the class room. we know this. sometimes it's the young women in the classroom. when i talk to the female students about what is happening
with your reproductive rights, they seem very surprised until they go to get birth control and see how expensive it. on the other hand i wonder if older women voters are, you know mucking the mire of economics. i wonder if we see what those things look like, that might make a difference in how voters are panning out. >> when we come back, i'm going to finally get to spill the beans about a really amazing interview i conducted. i've been dying to tell you all about this. reze car vent clips could eliminate the odor. [ woman ] take a deep breath, tell me what you smell. something fresh. a clean house. [ woman ] take your blindfolds off. oh!! hahahaha!!! [ male announcer ] febreze car. eliminates odors, so you can breathe happy.
i'd like to thank eating right, whole grain, multigrain cheerios! mom, are those my jeans? [ female announcer ] people who choose more whole grain tend to weigh less than those who don't. multigrain cheerios tend to weigh less than those who don't. then don't miss sleep train's wbest rest event.st ever? you'll find sleep train's very best mattresses at the guaranteed lowest price. plus, pay no interest for 3 years on beautyrest black, stearns & foster, serta icomfort, even tempur-pedic. and rest even better with sleep train's risk-free 100-day money back guarantee. get your best rest ever from sleep train. superior service, best selection, lowest price, guaranteed.
black electorate, which accounted for more than 12% amok the vote according to exit polls. and, yes, the african-americans gave opponent mitt romney 0 support in their august nbc news poll. always remember, that's a percent, not a raw number. but should they help to bring about a second obama term, what can the president's most dedicated supporters exec and how would that second term help to improve the lives and conditions of african-americans? those are two of the questions i asked the president. in a new interview out this week in "ebony's" issue, maybe i should not be that excited. but i was in the oval office and it was really excited and i had to keep quiet until it was o the new newsstands, which it is now. quote, i want to make sure that we're opening doors for everybody who wants to work hard and to get ahead, and i have
confidence that if those opportunities are there, african-americans are going to be able to succeed just like everybody else because they're working hard and they've got the same values that made this country great. so can and will black voters carry the president to success in november by turning out in key battleground states like ohio, virginia, and north carolina? joining me now to weigh in on that question, barbara around wind, jelani cobb, anthea butler, religious studies and jack welch editor and chief of "reason" magazine. yes, i was awfully excited. i could not talk about it until it came out, but i have to say it was such a moment to sit with the president of the united states and ask him quite specifically what have you done for can americans and what are you planning to do for african-americans. as you look at the ground work here in terms of policy, what do
you think the answers are? >> think what's interesting is the position the president has found himself in is people have a very kind of hair trigger about his support for issues in the african-american community. people believe that he -- others feared that he was going to favor black citizens and such and so on. so the things he has done has tended to fly under the radar. one of the most important things that the obama administration has done which they have not played up is that the holder department of justice has moved very aggressively against police departments that have a history of racial profiling. >> a descent decree in new orleans right now. >> even the instance with joe arpaio out in arizona, the trayvon martin case, those are the high-profile instances, but nationally this has been something that they're very concerned about. you've heard nothing, very little if anything at all about that in this campaign. >> so is that it?
is it a branding issue of the obama administration to be able to talk to african-americans about the work they have done as a matter of policy but having difficulty doing so, and so a space like "ebony" where you have kind targeted marketing is a place you can do it? >> yeah, i think it's an important place. i remember they called the president and said we need to talk and started to have more of a public conversation. i think that for african-americans who come out to vote, what i hope people will be looking for is a couple of things. one is an itch provement. that is a very high number. >> we've seen improved finally. but it's still high. >> yes. that's one. and the other thing is, this may sound very strange, but i would like to hear the president say something about the current case that's in front of the supreme court. the affirmative action. that's going to be something that really affected the community. the third thing, this is not a question of the african-american
thing but immigration. we tend to think about this immigration question as purely a latino question. it's not just for latinos, but it's for africans of can descent who are here and also having problems. >> anthea, i want to show you this commercial that's running that's intended to draw a wedge between african-americans and the latinos. >> i'm tired of the staur owe types that african-americans doan want to work. i god laid off and i've got mouths to feed. i need a job. what i doens understand is why they're going to immigrant millions of workers when 3 million black americans can't find work. do they really believe black americans don't want to work? let's slow down mass immigration and save jobs for americans, paid for by numbersusa.org. this is not a romney ad or obama
hand but that's basically a jes jesse ad. >> i think that it's important that americans not be persuaded by this ad or fall into this trap. it's very interesting that the ad would say the reason why african-americans don't have jobs is because of immigrants instead of talking about our educational system, instead of talking about educational and pell grants. >> incarceration rates. >> all the opportunity ladders, all of these barriers, racial discrimination employment. there's a whole lot of things they could have talked about instead and i think it's really important is that we not fall for it. that african merges have to say this is not it it. i'm sorry. we're better than that.
we're capable of having professional jobs, all kinds of jobs. this is a very, very, very detrimental ad. >> can i talk about this for a second? when we look at the history of the 20th century, history of labor in the 20th century, one of the great triumphs of the civil rights era was for people to recognize -- for white labor to recognize that as long as black laborers were excluded from unions they were undercutting white labor as well. >> it took a while. >> it did. it took 60 years actually. so when you see this kind of cynical advertising, they're trying to use that same ploy using african-americans. and if we had any doubt about the inter-related struggles, let's look at this one issue. how many times have we seen politicians get into trouble because they had nannies who were not being paid or being paid under the tashlgs being exploited. if we look back, we don't have to go to hollywood, we don't --
>> go home. >> look back to the history. half a century ago, that exploited domestic labor would have been black women. >> that's right. >> these are the same struggles. >> absolutely. i so appreciate that. that's part of why next i get to talk about the smartest thing i have read about black folks and the presidency of president obama in four years. we're going to talk about jelani cobb's new yorker piece next. we saw that last tide commercial with the parents and the cute little baby triplets... well wait until your triplets move back home after college. we were enjoying our empty nest. and now it's just a nest full of laundry. lucky underwear. we were going through so much of that bargain detergent... and the clothes didn't look as good. but since we switched to tide, we use much less. their clothes are looking much more...uh... what's the word? clean? employable. [ female announcer ] one cap of tide gives you more cleaning power than 6 caps of the bargain brand. [ mom ] that's my tide, what's yours?
i have a great fit with my dentures. i love kiwis. i've always had that issue with the seeds getting under my denture. super poligrip free -- it creates a seal of the dentures in my mouth. even well-fitting dentures let in food particles. super poligrip is zinc free. with just a few dabs, it's clinically proven to seal out more food particles so you're more comfortable and confident while you eat. super poligrip free made the kiwi an enjoyable experience. [ charlie ] try zinc free super poligrip. the question of president obama's support goes way beyond as our next guest gentlemen lany cob has made brilliantly clear in his essay. a handful f of men have been elected president and then
become a symbol for an era, but very few beyond the current only pant of 1600 pennsylvania avenue have made the opposite transition. jell lany, i love this piece. you open with a young man on the streets in harlem oochz dressed with saggy panting on the one hand but also the seal of the president of the united states on his jacket and you say a generation ago he would have been wearing the malcolm x insignia would have been wearing in the '90s after spike lee's film, not so much because we even knew malcolm but because we knew the film. it reminds me of an article written by my colleagues where they talk about watching the malcolm x film, that malcolm x becomes essentially the kind of voodoo doll, shaking it at white people saying i'm not happy here, i'm not satisfied yet, that this would otherwise require more active and risky
behaviors. but now what happens is you end up with a young man wearing a se seal, i belong here. >> thank you for having me on about my piece. when i saw this, i was on my way to panel to discuss barack obama and black masculinity. it was one of these weird incidental moments. he was texting at the time is why you don't see the back of his head. when i saw this, i thought this is actually what we're talking about, the cultural significance of barack obama, this young man who might well be pulled over or stopped by and frisked by the mipd, heed my be marginalized in his school. he might have all the demographic problems that confront young man but he knows to identify with something
really audacious. and it's not the president jacket. it's the seal of the presidency. as you talk about that complication, i think it's a complication that many of us have felt in the course of the four years of an african-american presidency and looking at the potential of another four years, how do we talk about those continued structural inequalities facing a young man like that and at the same time sort of have an indication, a celebration of support for the african-american body that's in the white house at this moment? >> yeah, exactly. i think about that young man and i want the president to be able to say i'm going to do something for you. i'm going to make sure you g etd the education you need, the job you need, i'll make sure you get everything you need despite the fact that you also admire me because i made it here, you can make it here too. and think that's part of what the jacket is about. i also think, too, in a certain kind of way, this is the immense pushback that the president has
seen. let's take back -- let's put white back in the white house, right? so there's also this other thing that has happened that i wish he could talk about more, which is the whole issue of how crazy race has been. it's not colorblind at all. it's beyond nuts right now and think in the next few weeks ramping up to the election we're going to see the racial kinds of incidences happening a lot more. my bit is he would be able to say to this young man a follow-up that really articulate as what we have as a problem. >> jell lany, you write it's validate both our hopes and fears given both legitimacy to our optimism and cynicism simultaneously. i thought, oh, yes, that is the double consciousness, that is the problem without a name that we face. >> right. i think when we look at this, we
saw the election of barack obama as the validation of everything the civil rights movement sought. i call id it barack x. really he was saying this is not going to solve all the problems. there are other pit falls ahead. i think once we get past that initial glow of warm feeling we start thinking e we have these intractable problems and now we have a chief executive who is in many ways hampered by it too. so when we saw the president have to give his birth certificate to prove he was a citizen, he was like the dred scott case all over again. >> show me your papers. >> show me your papers. it's very fascinating. i think about clinton. clinton during his year year, o
his was race america. he came out with an affirmative action piece. >> par of the ability to do is even though he was the first white president, he wasn't actually the first white president. i want to talk about the specific race issue which is coming up. earlier this week the supreme court heard the case. now i've got an argument to make to clarence thomas. my letter to justice thomas is next. [ male announcer ] how do you make america's favorite recipes? just begin with america's favorite soups. bring out chicken broccoli alfredo. or best-ever meatloaf. go to campbellskitchen.com for recipes, plus a valuable coupon. campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do.
the week the supreme court heard oral arguments in the case of fisher versus university of texas and it inspired another letter for me. dear justice clarence thomas. it's me, melissa. i know you're pretty excited to end once and all the race of college of admissions. you've been waiting for this moment a long time, haven't you. i bet you think about it every
time you look at your yale law school diploma and the 15 cent price tag for the cigar box you stuck on it to remind yourself as you say in your book affirmative action made your law degree worthless. you thought it every time you got the stack of 40-year-old rejection letters, those who refused to hire you after your law school graduation what you called taint humiliation, that you were only admitted to yale because of affirmative action. let me tell you, you and abigail fisher, the plaintiff in the current university of texas case, you've got it all wrong. consider this. it is possible you didn't get hired right out of law school because you just weren't good enough just like abigail fisher. she was a good student but she failed to clear the bar of u.t.'s ak demming achievement index. gable fisher wasn't admit birthday u a black student didn't talk her place. it was. her place.
now abigail fisher and you, justice thomas, are poised to take the places of countless future students of color. so let's be clear. it's not a legacy of affirmative action. it's a legacy of racism that continues to con found and challenge our nation, to change it we need more than months or even years. we need generations to break down barriers that divide us. and do you know one of the important places where that work begins? in college classrooms, diverse classrooms, the kind of classrooms that affirmative action has created. and here's something i learned as a cljt professor. the measure of merit isn't the test you take to get into school. it's what you learn after you've been admitted whabd do you with that knowledge once you left. just look at your african-american classmates from yale lal skew in the early 1970s. you remember them, the ones tainted by affirmative action.
four are now federal judges. one became a college president. there are partners at the countries top law firms and two professor of law, including harvard law's first tenure black woman lany greiner. their can accomplishment and yours are the real legacy of affirmative action. coptrary to what you believe, yale's add millimission policy was not a favorure. it was an undenieshl success. sincerely, melissa. coming up next, no republican since lincoln has won the presidency without ohio, and if they can't win it, apparently they're prepared to steal it. this week in voter suppression is next. that we could save money by switching to a cheaper detergent than tide. and, what did i tell you? that it was a bad idea. and? and she was right... the clothes weren't as clean and even i could tell. so, no savings. we're back to tide. and now, i'm doing the laundry all month.
if we took the nissan altima and reimagined nearly everything in it? gave it greater horsepower and best in class 38 mpg highway... advanced headlights... and zero gravity seats? yeah, that would be cool. ♪ introducing the completely reimagined nissan altima. it's our most innovative altima ever. nissan. innovation that excites. ♪ welcome back. in our latest installment we like to call this quadriplegic in voter suppression, all eyes are on the buckeye.
when it comes to presidential elections, as ohio goes, so goes the nation. in all the election the ohios picked all but one election. no republican since abraham lincoln has not won the presidency without winning ohio. mitt romney knows that very well. without ohio's 18 electoral votes it's a tough road. a loss in ohio would mean romney would have to win six of the remainder of the seats. that road got a little less rocky after last week's debate. the poll shows the president's lead just over. it with us enough to reinvigorate romney's push to win the state and even inspire a rare joint appearance between the governor and paul ryan before a crowd in lancaster, ohio, yesterday. >> in a nutshell, we need leadership.
and look at the guy over my shoulder right here. if you look at this man's life story, one word comes to mind. leader. >> now, of course, it's always easier to hold onto a lead than to overcome a deficit. the fact is ohio remain as tough ro row to hoe. according to our recent poll, obama is ahead over romney. as you know, if you've about been paying attention to this week in voter suppression, running a running an effective campaign just plan a. this year state republican law marmers have drafted a blue print for a plan b which goes something like this. if you can't get enough people to vote for you, go out of your way to make sure that enough
people don't vote for the other guy. even if that means appealing all the way to the supreme court. which is exactly what the ohio secretary of state jon husted is trying to do. the attorney general from 15 other states joined him yesterday with an amicus brief in support, and here's why those three days mater. 2008, 97,000 votes were cast in ohio the three days before election day. and the vast majority of those votes were cast by african-americans to when the state and the presidency. this year thanks to ohio state those votes might never be cast and neither could the victory that they could help deliver to
president obama. joining me, barbara, glen johnson anthea butler of religious stois at the university of pennsylvania and matt welch, editor in chief of "reason" magazine. barbara? >> ohio is ground zero in the fight against voter suppression. what we know is in ohio, we just released. african-americans used early voting 77% of all voters voted early. and that is a powerful statistic. we're doing another study we're going to be releasing soon. it's going to be very much the same. >> why? why do african-americans vote early? what difference does it make for them to come on saturday versus tuesday? >> because we know about long lines, with don't want to be caught up in the trap finding
we've got problems and we can't vote or we work. i think what's really critical is that this case will, in fact, go to the supreme court now and -- >> are they going to hear this? >> i think kagan will -- it's going to come to kagan, and it's very likely she'll refer it to the full court. so we'll see what happens. also there was another decision that was issued by the sixth circuit this week where they also threw out ohio's law saying you have to be in the correct precinct for your vote to be counted. that is significant. >> this is big. >> oh, yes. >> it means if i come to work and a poll worker tells me to go get in the wrong line because we know in cities people may not catch this if you live in a smaller place. if you live in a precinct and a
poll worker tells me to go over there and i cast my ballot over there, what we're saying is we're going to count those votes. >> ohio was so determined to prevent african-americans from voting because african-americans gave the president the margin of victory in that state in 2008 that they actually sent a directive to the poll workers telling people they could not tell them where to vote. they directed them not to give their direction so their vote wouldn't be counted. >> barbara, there was a gag rule on accurate voting information. >> absolutely. >> okay. so. >> absolutely. >> in the amicus brief that these 15 attorneys general have filed, it reads, each of these 15 states has different voting rules and election systems, but the one principle we all stand on is that state lechlg late
yours and not the federal court should run elections. i'm sorry. in what world is mass confusion an inconsistency a principle on which we ought to be governing our election system? >> exactly. i think this is another way of people trying to mess this up a little bit. so i was thinking about this week when huckabee announced to romney, in case you think your neighbor is going go vote for the other guy, let the air out of their tires. so do these things to deceive. and so what i think we see in ohio and these other states have tried this and have failed is a question of deception. they don't want people to exercise their democratic rights. and this is a right to vote. i mean it's not something that we should push away. it's as though they don't want us to do our civic engagement and that's what troubles me so much about this. this is not going to just benefit african-american voters in ohio. it will benefit white voters. >> military voters. >> military voters. people who have things to do.
people are so concerned you don't want people of color to come out and vote you cut it off for everyone. >> i lament to that that it seems like the only time we talk about voter disenfranchisement are specific issues during an election year in a highly partisan kind of thing. i would submit probably the two biggest systemic elements in this country aren't even sort of targeted to the swing state stuff. >> remg station. >> no, it's not even registration. it's drug and as pernicious or in the ballpark is prohibiting ex-felons from voting. you've served your time and you've paid your debt to society and in the state of florida and other states, you cannot vote. we're talking about millions of americans who cannot vote even though i they paid their debt to society. and i wish we could have a political and moral outrage at
that systemic disenfranchisement in this as well. both parties sort of lose their collective will to engage the conversation about the terms under which we vote because whomever wins now has a stake in the system, right? whoever wins has a stake in the system. so it becomes more difficult to get this sort of systemic change. and also i don't want to miss your point here about drug prohibition, because it's a t two-step one because we prohibit not just the sale of drug bus the private use of them. most folks are who are incarcerated are incarcerated because of them. and then often can't vote forever. >> and there's this explicitly racial aspect to that and class action. even though african-americans do not consume more drugs than white people, they're the ones jail and warehoused for it and
that's true on a lot of tough on crime laws which is why that should be more of a bipartisan civil rights issue now. >> and we've got to be careful because if you're in jail and have been arrested, you can't vote. we've tot be very clear about the facts. think that, listen, 16 million, dlo close to 14 million african-americans voted in 2008. 1.3 were probably in jail. the 5.5 million african-americans do not have voter i.d.s. this disenfranchisement is really extreme with, you know, so many people voting early, trying to cut down the early voting. all of these actions that are being taken, we need to take a look at the full plea torah, but also we need to be moving beyond 2012 into 2013 and talk about
election reform. >> barbara, before we go, i wanted to show you map of shame. >> yes, yes. >> which is where these voter i.d. laws are. i've got to tell you i've learned something about my own state on this map of shame. on this map you have the red which are restrictive states where government-issued photo i.d. is required. the blue states which is the confusion states where photo i.d. is requested but not required. and orange where i.d. is required. photo or nonphoto i.d. accepted. when we come back, we want to talk about a very specific issue. fast food, big sales, and voter suppression, the new strategy to intimidation ohio voters via billboard. >> yes.
time for your business entrepreneur of the week. a fashion marketplace that helps boutiques that don't have their own ecommerce sites. she knows content sells so she also launched a come pap union line magazine as a source for what's in. for more watch "your business" on sunday mornings at 7:30 a.m. on msnbc. t with covergirl blast flipstick. wearable, blendable double end-able! it's two lipsticks in one. easy, breezy, beautiful blast flipstick from covergirl.
that make kids happy. and even fewer that make moms happy too. with wholesome noodles and bite sized chicken, nothing brings you together like chicken noodle soup from campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. but they have to use special care in keeping the denture clean. dentures are very different to real teeth. they're about 10 times softer and may have surface pores where bacteria can multiply. polident is designed to clean dentures daily. its unique micro-clean formula kills 99.9% of odor causing bacteria and helps dissolve stains, cleaning in a better way than brushing with toothpaste. that's why i recommend using polident. [ male announcer ] polident. cleaner, fresher and brighter every day.
use the law to squash democracy is straight out of a handbook for how to din enfranchise american voters but they're not hedging their bets. they're backing that up with another tried and true strategy. good old-fashioned fear, confusion, and intimidation. take a look at this. ten of these billboards proclaiming voter fraud is a felony, punishable by up to 3 1/2 years in jail and a $10,000 fine has sprng it throughout cleveland. that's all true, but you know what else voter fraud is? practically nonexistent. so why would some unnamed funder pay for advertising that raises
awareness about something that barely exists? the answer is pretty obvious if you take a closer look at where the billboards are located. this is a page from ""mother jones"" magazine. the red dots are caucasian, blue african-americans, orange for hispanics and green ashans. sorry for the racial locating. they're all in cleveland's communities of color. joining me now from one of those communities is cleveland is ohio state senator nina turner. it's so nice to have you, miss turner. >> good morning, professor. >> talk to me about these billboards and the placement of them. >> well, it is an insult to african-americans and other communities of color and poor folks. this effort by republicans is really laced not only with race but also with class. to insult an entire community to assume, to put a mark, if you
will, to continue to paint the voters that are more likely to vote for the president as the other. so the republicans have created an environmental of confusion not only in the state of ohio but across the country and this is an absolute insurlt. >> and the point they make on these billboards about felony. just in our last segment, one of our guests here, matt, talked about felony disenfranchisement is one of the major strukt tall issues facing communities of color but also this type of fear and intimidation ought to have the strongest imcommunities that are most police where you have folks that have the right to vote but will have a fear. >> that's exactly what they're trying to do, invoke fear. you know, for voters or low information voters who may not necessarily know, i mean you have the right to vote in the state of ohio if you are an
ex-offender and registered. with so much going on, folks might not necessarily realize that. every year i find myself reeducating my constituents they have a right to vote,'ve if they're ex-offenders. you're absolutely right. it's very strategic and it's no different that whan happened in the segregationist falls force. it's the water hole of the tax. you name it. it is fear and intimidation. the fact is whoever purchased that billboard did not evenly have the courage to have his or her name on the billboard. they are cowards and they are bullies. >> i wanted to ask you about that. do you know anything about -- we know they're clear channel billboards. we know they're clear channel. but someone who has purchased them, i wondered have we followed the money at all. do we know who has, in fact, purchased these billboards? >> we've ben trying but
according to clear channel it's within the contract that they did not want to be named. and to clear channel, you know, all money is not good money. this is an insult to not only the greater cleveland community but the entire state of ohio and that's why i want to see more people outraged about this. this is not just an african-american/hispanic issue or issue for people of low income. this is an issue of what kind of democracy do we want to live in and whether or not folks are going to stack the deck or rig the election. this, is again, a return to the dash side of what we had to go through. and i agree with one of your guests that talked about the fact that we are paying attention to this now, but the greatest test is going to be how we pay attention and keep up the fight after this presidential election because some of this stuff in these various states will still be in play and can forever change how policy is written. not just on the federal level
but the local and state level as well. >> state senator nina turner. i just want to pass on. i just happened to have been in north carolina and i had a small business own eric african-american in his 40s say you're going to have state senator turn owner, you tell her all of us here at north carolina think that she ought to run for not the state senate but the senate in ohio. so i don't know what a north carolina voter is going to do for you by i'm passing that on from chico williams that he's proud of what you're doing in ohio. >> thank you, professor and johnny williams. >> he took those beautiful pictures of those ohio billboards. up next, what you need to know to cast your vote. ♪ [ dog barking ] ♪
[ female announcer ] life is full of little tests, but your basic paper towel can handle them. especially if that towel is bounty basic. the towel that's durable and scrubbable. in this lab demo, bounty basic is stronger than the leading bargain brand. everyday life. bring it with bounty basic. affordably priced. tested by everyday life. and try bounty napkins.
overmany discounts to thine customers! safe driver, multi-car, paid in full -- a most fulsome bounty indeed, lord jamie. thou cometh and we thy saveth! what are you doing? we doth offer so many discounts, we have some to spare. oh, you have any of those homeowners' discounts? here we go. thank you. he took my shield, my lady. these are troubling times in the kingdom. more discounts than we knoweth what to do with. now, that's progressive.
the voter repression tactics we've told you about are nothing new. defend their right to vote. if you live in one of the 13 states where restrictive voting laws are still in place and will be in effect on election date, remember you are a voter, not a victim. one of my guests today says that being a member of an empowered electorate this year means more than just marking a ballot. barbara, what do i do if i live in ohio, pennsylvania, and louisiana, and i go to cast my vote and i meet up with some kind of intimidation tactic. >> you have the right to vote. don't lehtonen dissuade you from voting and the most important thing is if you have a problem there's a the national protection coalition protection. it's not partisan. we're there to help everyplace. it's 1-866-our vote.
we've got people on the ground who can go to polling places, get those people pulled away if they're out there harassing and trying to intimidate voting. we can do all kinds of things. when they run out of bat ol's get the right ballots back. what voters need do themselves is they need to be v.i.p.s. they need to verify their reg station. i don't care if you believe that you have been voting all the time and you're great. verify your reg station because if it comes up inactive, then there are thing use can do right now to make yourself fine. you also need to have the right identify kalgs when grow to any polling place. just make sure you have whatever your state requirements is. >> bring it all. >> whatever. and also make sure you're at the correct polling place because that's really critical that you're at the correct voting
place. we say, listen, if you have questions about that call. 1- h wee have a mobile website go. to our website at www.ourvote or lawyerscommittee. that allow yos u to verify your registration, awhat your identification requirements are, your polling place and it allows you to call or complain. if there's a problem you hear of, see of, we know these billboards are not just in ohio any longer. they're in wisconsin. we want to know wherever they are. we want to know of any problems people are seeing. everybody here, this is what i'm asking people to do. and i know this is hard. i'm saying to americans, this time, this year, it's not just suv end for you to vote. you need to become a foot soldier for democracy. you need to personally, if you can, take off time, volunteer,
help us protect the vote. we're looking for legal volunteers, we're looking for grassroots volunteers, we're looking for any american who wants to be part of making sure or democracy works. call us. call us again at the hotline. 1-866-687-8683. call us or go to our websites, lawyerscommittees org or ourvote.org and volunteer i love this because it's part of this history of resistance bag but it also feels to me a little bit like what we would call it economic or political science the transaction cost. it doesn't cost money to vote but it does cost transactions costs. when do you have to gather identification or verify it, it makes it more expensive. for those people with the least ability to pay to vote. is there a fairness that can be
make about that kind of cost representing a poll tax which is unconstitutional? i don't know about that so much. >> all right. >> i want to pull it back. i spent several weeks in an out of service hotel in tallahassee in 2000 while that whole case was being adjudicated. the sound and fury after that was we have to do something about our voting system and here it is more than a decade later and we have not. this is a country whose entire voting system is based on the majority. still we're fighting these kinds of battles and asking these kinds of questions and having both sides of the arguments whether it's people considering voter suppression or it's other people considering it voter integrity. at logger heads for almost no reason.
it seems to me a country that can land something on mars and send back pictures should be able to figure out, a, how to cast a ballot, b, who's allowed to vote is able to vote and also then all of that balloting is counted accurately. more than a decade after we had questions about the accuracy of who was the president of the united states, we're still worrying about what the secretary of state in ohio is doing to voter registrations and we're relying on the courts once again to adjudicate. >> glen, i so appreciate that that it's not the first time and as matt point out we have to continue to have a continue yans of it. glep, you're going to stick around with me for a little bit because we're going to boston. get out your platforms and disco balls because it is 1970s all
many birthdays later, still looks amazing. thanks to the trusted performance of olay. still looks amazing. then don't miss sleep train's wbest rest event.st ever? you'll find sleep train's very best mattresses at the guaranteed lowest price. plus, pay no interest for 3 years on beautyrest black, stearns & foster, serta icomfort, even tempur-pedic. and rest even better with sleep train's risk-free 100-day money back guarantee. get your best rest ever from sleep train. superior service, best selection,
♪ whatever your business challenge, dell has the technology and services to help you solve it. in 1974 boston, massachusetts, became the site of the most infamous segregation in the north. bussing. the first vehicles of change rolled into the segregated neighborhoods with the hopes of integrating their public schools but in the days ands that followed much of boston remained lock in a bittered and violent action of bussing. >> as a chai-town parent, what do you think about bussing? >> i don't think lit duo over here, not at all. and when they do take some of the police out of here, there'll be more trouble than anyone realizes. these kids aren't going to stand for it. nielkter are parents. >> how do you feel about the schools?
>> all colored, no white, not at in our schools. yeah, give it to the [ bleep ]. that's what they want. >> nearly four decades later after integrating boston schools by court order, the city is now looking to limit school bussing. joining sus kim janie, a senior project director for advocates for children where she leads the boston reform project. prudence carter and university of pennsylvania professor jelani cobb. what is the story in boston right now? >> ironically it's not a problem from the outside. it's not sort of the racial issues that we saw back in the '70s. what's happening right now is some of it is economics driven. the city is also 60,000 students divided into three different zones assigned to schools within those zones and the city is
spending almost 10% of its school bunt bussing students between these different areas. in many cases to schools that are not in their neighborhood. and yet the population has changed. the bussing that was enacted to try to balance the racial balance in the schools is no longer achieving that goal. schools are now largely hispanic and black and asian, and so as practical matter they have tried to find a way to do it and to try and save money doing something that doesn't seem to be achieving the goals that it was set out for. >> so here we've got this story. you yourself were involved in this both from a policy matter and also as a -- you were one of the kids on these buses and so,
we saw in that intro that vial quote but there was also the reality that in fact that's exactly what has happened. white flight from the schools has meblt that now the schools are no longer -- i mean there may be a moment of integration and threaten was white flight and now they're all students of color. >> right. first i would start by saying the issue was quality. back then is what perrins wanted with us quality for their children and what weaponed up with a forced bussing system. i was one of the kids bussed. it was pretty ugly, as you saw from the woman's quote but ironically in the school building many were friends even though the adults on the outside were kratzy. we had to have the police escort our buses. what's interesting here is issue is still quality. 40 years later parents want quality for their kids and they
want to choose the best schools if they can even if it means choosing outside of their neighborhood. in regards to the money, analysis that i've seen show very insignificant savings. we're not going to save $80 million like most people think because a lot of the children would be dwranld fathered. >> there's still some expense to moving kids around, right? it doesn't go from this level to zero. this is tough. i'm appalled that we're givening up on integration. on the other hand, having gone to neighborhood schools as a kid in the early '70s, like there is something very vital and fabulous about walking to school and having your friends around and, you know, play dates where you just knock on the door. no one has to drive.
i mean is there any reason to think that neighborhood schools, even segregated one have some kind of value to communities or kids? >> absolutely. i think naeighborhood schools d but this is a complex problem, melissa, because we know it's about quality and schools are connected to the residential location, the tax book and some will never be equal as long as there's a gross disparity. at the same time lots of parents want to make sure their children are safe. many are bus aid cross the city for security for their kids but also just the viability. the vibrancy of the neighborhood. that's what makes it so alluri g alluring, something that people want to invest in. boston is a very special case though. and as kim said, given the fact that the majority of the district is of color and about more than about three quarters of the students come from very
modest backgrounds, then what are we bussing to? you have to ask that question. at the same time, i'm really troubled by the fact that if we don't have good quality of schools throughout the district. you're going have a problem. >> because the challenge is that the only reason that there's this connection between residential location and school quality is because we base id on the value of homes, real estate taxes, rather than on sort of a basic fairness issue. >> right. if we can take this a step back, i'm a historical, so i always like to take the long view with these things. we now talk about brown versus the board of education as an unqualified triumph that all black people were thrilled about it and so on. there was substantial african-americ african-american. most northeastable was the novelist who said she resented the idea that you had to is it a black child next to a white child in order for them to
learn. so where we get at the complexity of this is can you provide these kinds of high quality educations for young children of color without having to move them to closer proximity to the resources which are then add agree gated to color. >> we'll stay on this topic. more on the value of neighborhoods and schools. copd makes it hard to breathe, but with advair, i'm breathing better. so now i can be in the scene. advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function. unlike most copd medications, advair contains both an anti-inflammatory and a long-acting bronchodilator working together to help improve your lung function all day. advair won't replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms
and should not be used more than twice a day. people with copd taking advair may have a higher chance of pneumonia. advair may increase your risk of osteoporosis and some eye problems. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking advair. if you're still having difficulty breathing, ask your doctor if including advair could help improve your lung function. get your first full prescription free and save on refills at advaircopd.com.
school. it's not only green but an opportunity for lessons. they learn the healthy habits of exercise and road sense and appreciate for the environmental and the whole gives adults and children the opportunity to create friendships and a tighter-knit community. is it time to reconsider the neighborhood school? so i show that image as just kind evidence of how what a neighborhood school can feel like and do and be but obviously that's an upper income -- skarls day, new york, is not the transition between charles town and south end boston, right? how do we provide those kinds of opportunities for community at the same time we say everybody should have access to the best schools? >> so you're absolutely right. neighborhood schools in a perfect world would be wonderful and think people would want to send their children to schools in their neighborhood. who doesn't want a good school in their neighborhood. that's the issue. so many neighborhoods in boston
don't have good schools. so what happens if you have a family and you have children and you want to send them to your local neighborhood school but all around you are low performing schools. that's the huge issue. it's about having equal access to quality education. the other thing is when i was bussed as a child, the travelic irony is i did not get bussed for a better education. i went to a school that was probably worse than the school in my own neighborhood. >> so they indegrated you but didn't provide a better opportunity. jelani talks about this golden age of segregation narrative but there's something about prox empty to resources and access. is that enough to make this kind of bussing policy decision? >> you know, i think the big problem is we have to think about whether or not we're just going to rely on education as something for our individual gain or do we want to think about the common good. i mean so when we think about
the integration as a social and educational policy, we thought about it as something to enrich and enlivenen our democracy, right? so that's a big question. when we start going back to neighborhood schools we're talking about segregation as well because we're so residentially segregated. that's a really big issue. the second point is if we want to talk about integrating schools, we have to integrate them more deeply. and i think, kim, when you were talking earlier about being bussed to the school where the quality wasn't still as great, i hear about kids being bussed but then they're segregated within their schools because of the narratives of understood achievement, of black and latino kids. so it's a multidimensional problem and the question is where do we want to put our priorities? if we want to build it up we have to infuse them with the resources to have absolutely the best schools possible. otherwise we're going to
perpetuate the gross inequities that we have. >> glen, i want to talk about sort of -- how do we end up with the circumstances with where so many students of color are the primary members in the public school system? where are the white parents that live in town? where are their kids. >> they live in town and on the edges of the cities as well but most of the kids go to catholic school, provet schools, as kim was saying they go to charter schools, and so they're not in the mainstream public education system anywhere. they're tracked from preschool and then continue on, never to merge with the public schools. >> that costs money. if you're a middle-class family, right, particular fi if you want your kids to go off to college and that's going to cost 12
kabillion schools. even catholic schools are more of an expense and you talk about this as a budget issue, if parents are living in town, isn't there a value for that? not even in the democracy sense, but in the most individual sense to want to invest in and have their children in neighborhood schools for the pure issue of household budgets? >> sure. and also for the quality of the neighborhood. you know, there's the investment that everybody makes in their neighborhood when everybody's attending the local school and there's a sensz of community build around the partition pace of the local school so you would think it would be a driving force. but the reality of it is that certain parts of the city have better schools and others don't and the funding has not shifted between the two adequately enough to raise all votes in this question. >> i just want to respond to that because i really think
that's true deenld depending pe neighborhood that you link in. and for many communities there's a concentration of poverty, so you're not going to see the same sort of rallying around behind schools and investing in schools and it's going to take a lot to build the capacity of families to really be that support for their schools. and so in the meantime we have to really focus on getting school department to create a clear and comprehensive plan that will improve school quality. that's what families want. that's what the parents who i take to, they's what they want. i'm working with a community coalition for excellent, equity, and engagement, some local nonprofits are involved. and we are really pushing the school department to slow down this process and take your time to do it right. the neigh is watation is watchi. >> we can have this long-term goals. but in the short term you have the third grader that has to go to school right now. >> not five years from now.
>> right. you have to make those choices. >> there's going to be more in just a moment, but first it's time for a preview of weekends with alex. >> hi. you look great in right. >> thank you. >> i'm going to talk with dennis kucinich. i'm going to ask him what up to fiscal cliff and if he'll be voting on it in the lame duck session. a supreme court case will majorly impact the nation's public universities. it could overturn all affirmative action policy. . we'll get the morning joe take on the impending fiscal cliff and whether or not the nation is destined to fall off of it. on a lighter note, playing hooky. unbelievable excuses people use to call up sick including, get this one, i forgot i was hired. >> what? >> i'm not kidding you. >> in economy people are -- i got to say like i come to work sick at this point. i know it's a bad behavior
but -- thank you, alex. and coming up, putting kids first and helping a community come together. our foot soldier is next. i'm only in my 60's... i've got a nice long life ahead. big plans. so when i found out medicare doesn't pay all my medical expenses, i got a medicare supplement insurance plan. [ male announcer ] if you're eligible for medicare, you may know it only covers about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. call and find out about an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. like all standardized medicare supplement plans, it could save you thousands in out-of-pocket costs. call now to request your free decision guide. i've been with my doctor for 12 years.
now i know i'll be able to stick with him. you'll be able to visit any doctor or hospital that accepts medicare patients. plus, there are no networks, and you never need a referral. see why millions of people have already enrolled in the only medicare supplement insurance plans endorsed by aarp. don't wait. call now. fire bad! just have to fire roast these tomatoes. this is going to give you a head start on your dinner. that seems easier [ female announcer ] new progresso recipe starters. five delicious cooking sauces you combine with fresh ingredients to make amazing home-cooked meals.
these days you hear a lot about school choice, as though choice is a solution to all of our education woes. there's plenty to debate on that issue. one thing is for sure. you can't have meaningful choice without good information. our foot soldier this week is one woman determined to ensure that the parents in her city have the information they need. aisha rasheed cares about education. more than ten years ago as a new college grad she started working for the local new orleans paper, the times picayune. she was assigned the education beat. she was shocked to learn about the dismal condition of the schools. she left the paper in 2005 to improve the system through
advocacy. then hurricane katrina hit. and in the aftermath many reformers were determined to fix the broken system with a new one that relies heavily on charter schools. the system has some benefits, but it came at the cost of neighborhood schools. teachers were dispersed and leaders left, buildings were closed and schools that people had never heard of emerged while long-time community institutions were replaced. families were left with questions. which schools were open, which ones required applications? is there any transportation? and most importantly, which schools are performing? and there was no one source for parents to get the answers. until aisha lit a can knelt dark maze of a disconnected system. she founded the new orleans parents organizing network. she secured funding through the new schools for new orleans, a nonprofit that promoted the expansion of charter schools. but she put aside her own philosophy and brought unlikely
partners together to create the new orleans parents guide. she went to every single school, collected data and compiled it into one comprehensive book. she printed 10,000 copies, put them in her car, drove around around dropped them off at any public place where parents could access them. the she's now starting to collect information for the seventh edition. every year she adds new information and makes sure that more people have access. her latest advancement? a smart phone app. so thanks to ais hkzha rasheed you are trying to send a kid to a public schools in new orleans there's an app for that. she's our foot soldier of the book. for more about her and the parents guide check out our blog on msnbc.com. thanks our show for today. thank to my guests and my beloved friends blare and pat kelly for allowing me to be present at the birth of their
son and my god son on thursday night. thanks to you home for watching. i'll see you tomorrow morning 10:00 a.m. eastern. coming up "weekends with alex witt." employees are being forced to do more with less. and the need for capable leaders is greater than ever. when you see these problems do you take a step back, or do you want to dive right in? with a degree in business from capella university, you'll have the knowledge to go further in your career than you ever thought possible. let's get started at capella.edu
c'mon, michael! get in the game! [ male announcer ] don't have the hops for hoops with your buddies? lost your appetite for romance? and your mood is on its way down. you might not just be getting older. you might have a treatable condition called low testosterone or low t. millions of men, forty-five or older, may have low t.